Chapter 1: Growing Up Enlightened
Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, mt/ft, Romantic, Heterosexual, First, Safe Sex, Oral Sex, .
Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1: Growing Up Enlightened - Haldor Berglund did a lot of growing up in ten years. But it took all ten years to find the love of his life.
I doubt that very many teenage boys would get to experience what I did back in the summer of 1995. I'm Haldor Berglund, and at that time I lived in Hull, Quebec, just across the border from Ottawa, our nation's capital. I am the only child of Ragnar and Eleni Berglund, formerly from Oslo, although my mother is originally Danish. My mother's English is still somewhat formal and accented while my father's is much more fluent from his early frequent travels to North America.
As a reward for good marks at the end of grade ten, my parents completely stunned me by telling me we were off to Italy for a one month summer vacation. It was a wonderful surprise and led to so much more in my young life, and helped develop who I am today.
My parents had chosen the Mediterranean coast near the border with France and Monaco. It was destined to be an amazing experience for a sixteen-year-old boy. They had booked a small villa on the Italian Riviera in a village just east of San Remo, and for a horny teenager, it was beyond my wildest expectations. Very near our villa was a clothing optional beach area. Naked and semi-naked men and women strolled the sands in pairs or groups, or lay on towels, completely oblivious to my stares. Thanks exclusively to the array of feminine pulchritude, those first few days produced the worst case of "blue balls" I had ever experienced.
The choice of location was no accident. My mother was well aware of the reaction it would produce in me. She wanted me to understand the difference between the repressed sexuality of North America and the more liberal views of our European cousins. She believed it would produce a more mature attitude toward women. My mother had been born and raised in Denmark, but was working in Norway when she met my father. They married in Oslo prior to emigrating to Canada when my father received a promotion and a transfer.
My Norwegian father was a little more circumspect when it came to his views on my personal development. He was a well-placed representative of a major international supplier of forestry equipment and very conscious of his image. However, since we were out of the country and not likely to be recognized, he bowed to my mother's wishes. I am forever grateful that he did.
It seemed like I spent that entire first week in as state of aroused frustration but, after a while, I became accustomed to the nudity and found I wasn't continually staring at the endless stream of beautiful women with unbridled lust. In fact, like most boys I had developed a ten point rating system for these girls and women, with ten being an impossible standard to meet. The beach was littered with sevens and eights and even a few nines, however. It was there that I decided just what kind of woman would be my ideal. After all, I had plenty of comparison models to choose from.
It goes without saying that I enjoyed my time at the beach and wouldn't have missed it for anything. Alas, I was able only to look and had little opportunity to touch. I did take some photos, however. I needed some sort for proof of my voyeuristic days to show my pals when I got home. My Italian language skills were almost non-existent and, aside from a few dances at some of the clubs, I had no luck in finding even a temporary female companion. The competition was just too stiff, pun intended.
When I got home, I decided to write about my trip and my experiences. I had taken a typing course the year before and, with the use of my parents' computer, I was able to transcribe my thoughts about my visit to Italy and what I had learned. Even as a teenager, I seemed to be able to put my ideas on paper in an organized and interesting manner. I was enrolled in an elite public school in Ottawa on the Ontario side that avoided Quebec's French-only education curriculum. My English teachers encouraged me and that sowed the seeds of my future career, although I didn't know it at the time.
I was a normal, perpetually horny, virgin teenage boy before that amazing summer. Like my peers, I had been anxious to "score" with at least one of the girls in my circle of friends but lacked the social skills to do much more than ask for a date and hopefully a bit of making out at sometime during the encounter. It wasn't until I returned from that European summer that everything began to change in both my attitude and my opportunities.
At first, I shared the photos carefully with some of my male friends, making sure I wasn't caught with the evidence by one of the teachers. Inevitably, word got around and I was being approached by guys I barely knew who wanted to see them. I had achieved a status that otherwise would never have been afforded me. Even some of the seniors envied my summer vacation, imagining what they would have done in my place.
What really turned my little world upside down was when one of the girls in my class asked to see them. Virginia "Ginny" Fontaine was a super-hot red-head that I had lusted after in some of my fantasies over the past year or so. I suspected she was the wet dream of many of my fellow males. She was tall, very self confident, and had a body that was beyond her years. In short, she was out of my league.
"Hey, Hal. I hear you took some pictures on your vacation this year," she said, grinning from ear to ear. She had snuck up on me when I wasn't watching and ambushed me when we were alone.
"Oh ... where did you hear that?" I asked, looking to find a way out of the coming conversation.
"Don't be cute, now. We both know you've got some naughty pictures of naked women on the beach in Italy. I'd like to see them."
"I don't think that's a good idea. I mean, we could get in trouble ... if we were caught."
"Oh, come on, Hal. You've been showing them to all the guys. Loosen up. Let's have a look at what we've been missing over here," she giggled. "Are you worried we girls would be embarrassed?"
"No ... no ... I mean ... it's just that ... well ... you know."
She laughed. "You're worried we would feel inferior, is that it?" She turned to show her body profile and made sure to emphasize her breasts. "What do you think? Would I get noticed?"
"Oh yeah, no doubt," I answered quickly. "No problem, Ginny, especially with your red hair. Not too many redheads in Italy."
"That's not what I was talking about. I mean my body, doofus," she said with disdain. "You think I would look okay on that beach?"
"Oh ... well ... yeah. I mean ... you are kidding, right?" I said, scrambling. Who was she trying to impress. She would be noticed any time any where with the hooters she sported. "Don't hit me or anything for what I say, Gin, but you are stacked. Every guy in school would love to get their hands on them."
I was ready to duck the moment I said what I did. Strangely, she didn't react. In fact, she had a funny looking smile after a few seconds.
"Yeah ... I thought maybe that would be so," she said. "So I take it I could stroll up and down that beach and get noticed, eh?"
"No doubt, Ginny. No doubt," I agreed quickly. Then, I said something I never thought I would. "Why? You thinking of trying it this summer? Maybe at Lac St. Jean?"
Lac St. Jean was a favorite place for teens and older to go to swim, picnic, drink a few beers and make out.
Ginny gave me another funny look, then smiled once more.
"I didn't think of it until you mentioned it, but ... you know ... maybe I will."
"I could sell tickets to that," I said with a grin.
"Yeah, I'll bet you would too, you perv," she snapped, but followed it with a smile. My flattery seemed to be working.
You have to understand that this conversation wouldn't have taken place a year earlier. I was now almost seventeen and I had thankfully experienced a growth spurt during the past year. I had gone from being a five-foot-five-inch blonde-haired dweeb to a rather gangly six-foot blonde haired guy, now finally taller than the girls I lusted after. I may have had raging hormones but they led nowhere since up until then I couldn't get a date with any of the girls I really wanted. Now ... after my summer in Italy, a nice tan, and sun-bleached hair, I was beginning to attract attention.
"You've changed a lot, Hal," she said, examining me carefully. "A few more pounds and you're going to be a hunk."
I looked at her in astonishment. "Are you kidding?"
"Nope. You're just a little late developing ... just like some girls are."
"I hope you're right. I'm tired of being rejected when I'm looking for a date."
"I don't think that's going to happen any more," she smiled. "I think you should try your luck again. You might get a surprise."
"I might? What makes you think so?"
"Oh, I've heard comments from a few of the girls. They're beginning to notice you."
Hot damn! This was definitely good news. I was no longer the dork of grade ten. Maybe grade eleven was going to be better than I had expected. If Ginny Fontaine thought I had a chance, and she was a solid nine, then maybe I could snag a seven for a girlfriend. I had to give this some thought. I would have to carefully select some potential candidates and rank them in order of desirability. I just hoped she wasn't stringing me along, trying to make me feel good.
When I showed her the pictures she was quite surprised.
"Hey ... there are little kids ... families on this beach too. That's gross!" she said.
"Well, you have to understand, their outlook is a lot different than ours. They don't think nudity is dirty. I mean, they don't walk around town naked but, where it's allowed, they act just like it's an everyday thing. The kids don't seem to notice one way or another. Even teenagers like us are mixing together and it isn't like an orgy or anything. More like what we would do. You know, listen to music, talk about movies ... that sort of thing. Besides, not everyone goes naked."
"That is so ... weird. I don't think I could do that here," she said thoughtfully.
"Well, there are nudist clubs and camps here too, you know. Whole families belong, so it's not that unusual."
"Yeah, I suppose. Just the same, if I was going to do it ... you know ... walk around topless or something ... I wouldn't want to be recognized. My parents would kill me."
"I guess that's what my mother was trying to teach me," I said. "She said we are so much more uptight about ... you know ... sex and stuff. In Europe, they don't get all worked up about it ... the nudity and things like that."
"What about sex?" she asked. "Do those kids have sex all the time?"
"No ... I don't think so. I mean, some of the girls went topless as you could see, but only on the beach. I didn't see any making out in public, but I guess they could when they were alone, you know."
"I've got to go to Europe and see for myself," she announced. It was as if she had suddenly made up her mind.
"You'd enjoy it, Ginny. It's very different from here. The whole lifestyle is so completely different. I was wondering what it would be like in their schools."
"Yeah. So, I guess I better start working on my parents to let me go next summer. I'll be eighteen and legal," she grinned. "Perfect timing."
"I saw lots of kids from other countries travelling together. Both boys and girls together. I think a lot of them stayed in hostels and were backpacking. That looked like a fun way to go. Maybe you can find some kids who would want to go too."
She looked at me again with a wrinkled brow. "That's a hell of good idea, Hal. Safety in numbers. I'm going to ask around and see who else would be interested. Thanks for the suggestion," she grinned, anxious to get going.
"Ginny ... uhhm ... about me getting a date ... uhhm ... any suggestions on who I should ask?"
She looked at me oddly, as if I was asking a foolish question.
"What's the matter with me? Not up to your new standards?" she scowled.
"No ... hell no! I just didn't think you'd be ... I mean ... I'm not exactly in your circle of friends," I stammered.
"Well, I can fix that. We're having a party at Sally McNeill's house on Saturday. You'll be my date," she said, not expecting to be contradicted.
"Your date? I thought you and Rick Baker were ... you know ... going steady."
"Past tense, Hal. I'm looking to replace him, starting now. You interested?"
"Yeah ... oh shit ... hell yes!" I said. "You aren't just setting me up, are you?"
"Don't be so suspicious. I'll introduce you as my date. You'll have to take it from there if you want to make some new friends. Bring your pictures along. Those will be great for getting a conversation going," she laughed.
"Thanks, Ginny. I won't forget this. Thanks a lot," I said, already counting the hours until Saturday night.
Ginny gave me specific instructions on how and when to pick her up on Saturday evening. I borrowed Mom's not-too-ancient Volvo and arrived right on time.
"You're all wound up and ready to fly, huh," Ginny grinned.
"Yeah ... I guess I am. Look ... I don't want to embarrass myself or you. Let me know if I'm acting like a jerk or something."
"Don't worry, Hal. I'm sure you'll be fine. Just be yourself. You're actually fairly cool, you know?"
"I am?" That was another surprise. The coolest babe in school thought I was cool? Who knew?
I stuck pretty close to Ginny for the first hour, trying not to crowd her or seem like I was being nosy about her conversations with some of her girlfriends. The McNeills had a big entertainment centre in the basement and it easily held all the kids that had shown up. I scanned the group to see if Rick Baker was anywhere around but there was no sign of him. The last thing I needed was a confrontation with him. He was a hell of a lot bigger than me.
I was standing off to one side, nursing a cola when Sally McNeill sidled up to me.
"Having a good time, Hal?" she asked with a smile. I think that might have been the most she had every spoken to me in our three years of being in the same school.
"Yeah, I am thanks. You have a great place here for a party."
"I know. Everyone wants to hold their parties here," she laughed. "We should charge rent."
That pretty much exhausted my repertoire for conversation, so I shut up.
"Ginny said you were going to bring your pictures tonight," she said, checking to make sure she wasn't overheard.
"Oh ... yeah. She did ask me. But this isn't a good place for that, is it?"
"No. She and Bev and I are going to look at them in one of the bedrooms. At least we know Bev and I won't blab it all over the place that you have them here. But pretty much everyone knows you've got them."
"Oh great. I'm just waiting for the day one of the teachers or the principal demands I hand them over. I'll get expelled for sure."
"They won't hear it from us, Hal. Besides, Ginny said you were real cool about them. I mean, you weren't drooling all over them ... or worse."
I laughed. "Yeah, well, I guess I got used to nudity after the first week. Most women don't look anything like the women in Playboy, especially the older ones."
"How old is older?" she asked.
"I saw women in their sixties going naked," I said.
"Eewww! That this last thing I'd want to see ... my 'gramms' naked," she said, her face scrunched into a twisted mask.
"Yeah ... I know what you mean. But, after a while, you get used to it. They all can't be pretty like you," I grinned.
She smiled her thanks. At that moment, Beverly Linden and Ginny appeared.
"You guys ready to go?" Ginny asked.
The girls nodded, but I wasn't sure where we were going.
"Follow us," Ginny instructed me.
"Won't your boyfriends notice us taking off?" I asked.
"Nope. All looked after," Sally said. "They're watching the football game on TV. We've got a couple of hours to ourselves."
All their boyfriends were on the school football team, including the missing Rick Baker. I followed the girls up the stairs to the main floor, then to the second floor bedrooms. I patted my shirt pocket, making sure I had the pictures.
Sally closed the bedroom door behind me and locked it. That was a good precaution, I thought. I pulled the pictures out of my pocket and passed them to Ginny. She had already seen them, so she could answer most questions I figured.
The girls all sat beside each other on the bed, with Ginny in the middle, passing them around. I had over twenty prints, so there was a large variety of shots for them to examine.
"Hey, Hal," Bev said. "You're right. Not all of these women are beautiful or young."
"That's the real world for you," I kidded. "You'll notice not all the guys look like Tom Cruise either."
"Some of them look pretty studly," Sally said, pointing at one of the photos. "Look at the bulge in the front of that guy's Speedo."
"Oh, wow," Bev exclaimed. "That would have to fill you right up," she offered before realizing what she'd said and bursting into laughter.
"No doubt about it," Ginny agreed, laughing with the rest of them.
I tried to hide my embarrassment and might have succeeded since they seemed to have forgotten I was there. What gave me away was the snort I released when I reacted to Bev's comment. I was sitting in a small chair in front of a desk on the other side of the bed, so the girls had their backs to me.
"No comments from the peanut gallery, please," Ginny said over her shoulder.
That set off a round of giggles and some hushed whispers as the three continued to view the photos. I wondered why I was there, other than to make sure none of the pictures went astray.
After a few minutes and a few more whispers and giggles, Sally jumped up and left the room. I thought she might be heading for the bathroom, but she was back in no time at all and was holding a camera. It was a fairly bulking looking thing, but not one of the fancy Nikon SLRs or anything like that. In fact, it said Kodak on the front.
"What's the camera for?" I asked.
"Oh ... you'll see," Ginny smiled. "Come over here." She was focussed on me, and it was a knowing look that I couldn't interpret.
I got up and walked to the bed where the girls made room for me.
"This is a digital camera," Sally explained. "Have you ever used one?"
"No," I admitted. "I know something about them, but not much."
"It's really simple," she continued. "It's just like a regular camera. Point and shoot. It's got a built-in flash and a zoom lens. Other than that, there's nothing special about how you use it."
"What do you want me to do with it?" I asked.
"Why, take our pictures, of course," she smirked.
"That's it ... just take your pictures?"
"Yup. That's it."
Still, she had that knowing look that told me there was more to this than just taking their picture.
"So, how would you like me to take these pictures? All three together? One at a time? Indoors? Outdoors?" I asked, trying to get more information out of them.
"All of those," Ginny said quickly. "We won't do them all tonight, but we can get a start."
"So ... what aren't you telling me," I said, looking carefully at all three of them.
"Just one little detail," Ginny grinned. "We want you to take pictures of us when we are topless ... or maybe ... nude."
"You are kidding," I said, realizing almost immediately that they weren't.
"Nope," Bev said. "We want to see how we'd look if we were on that beach."
"Why me?" I asked.
"This won't be anything new for you, Hal," Ginny answered. "Any of the other guys would be wetting their shorts just with us being here. We need someone who will take us seriously and someone who can keep his mouth shut."
"Why do you want to do this? I mean, any of your girlfriends can take some pictures of you. What are the pictures for? I don't get it."
"Maybe we can sell them to a magazine," Sally said giggling.
"Okay, okay ... let's be straight with him," Ginny said. "We just want to see how we'd look if we went to Italy next summer. We want to make sure we won't look foolish."
"You can't be serious," I said, shaking my head. "The three of you will stop traffic anywhere you go, topless or not."
"I don't believe you," Bev said immediately. "Those women in the pictures were all better looking than us ... I mean ... than me anyway."
I was getting a little exasperated with the conversation. I still couldn't figure out just what these three were trying to accomplish.
"Those girls in the pictures were mostly older than you, and they'd spent the entire summer working on their tans. They were there to show off, and that worked for me. The girls your age looked a hell of a lot more realistic. You can see some of them in the background in a few of the pictures."
"Just take the pictures, please, Hal," Sally moaned.
"Hey ... I can do that. I mean, it's fine with me if you want some sexy pictures of yourselves. I'm not going to blab it around. I wouldn't count on anyone else, though. You won't believe how fast it got around that I had my pictures."
"My parents would kill me if they found out," Bev said, now worried. "They'd never let me go to Europe next summer."
"Same with mine," Ginny said. "But, they can only kill us once. Maybe we need to think about this again."
"Good idea," I agreed. "What's the rush anyway?"
"I just wanted to do it while I still had the nerve," Sally admitted.
"What are you going to do with the pictures when you have them?" I asked.
Ginny shrugged. "I just wanted to see what I looked like compared to those girls in the pictures."
Sally and Bev were nodding in agreement. That seemed to be the prime motivation. How did they look against the competition? In my opinion, they would not be outshone by their Italian contemporaries. The proof, however, would be in the pictures themselves.
"Look, we don't have much time," I said, checking my watch. "Why don't we try a couple of pictures now and see how they turn out?"
"Okay," Ginny said immediately. Bev looked a little less enthusiastic and Sally was also uncertain.
"Well, Ginny. Since this was your idea, why don't you go first," Sally said.
"Yeah, Gin. You first," Bev echoed.
Ginny looked at me, then at her two friends. "Okay. I guess I can do that. What do I do first?" she asked, looking at me.
I shrugged. "Strip, I guess."
"Turn your back then, Hal," she said.
"Ginny, don't be foolish. I'm going to see you anyway, so why don't I take some pictures of you when you're taking your top and bra off. They might turn out to be pretty sexy themselves. If not, then we can just delete them."
She looked uncomfortable, but finally saw the logic. Naked is naked, so she might as well get on with it. I picked up the camera, switched the power on, set the unit to take flash pictures, and turned toward Ginny. Her two girlfriends moved back toward the wall to stay out of the picture.
"Just undress the way you would if you were going to bed," I suggested. It'll look more natural that way."
"Geez, listen to Mr. Director," Bev giggled.
"You're next, Bev," Ginny said as she undid the top button of her jeans and began to pull the bottom of her t-shirt out.
I began to take pictures. Ginny was acting quite naturally, I thought. She wasn't looking at the camera, and her motions seemed quite free of nervousness. I tried hard to get good shots of her, but I had to admit I was no photographer.
As she pulled the snug t-shirt over her head, I had my first look at her in a bra and I was not disappointed. There was nothing artificial about her breasts. They were real, they were big, and they filled the cups to capacity. I could feel myself start to get hard in spite of the fact that she wasn't yet topless and I had seen many a female breast in the past couple of months.
Ginny then unzipped her jeans and began to remove them. I hadn't expected that, but I said nothing. It was her decision, so I just went with it. She was perched on the edge of her bed, pulling the legs of the jeans over her feet and off. Then she stood and turned toward me.
"How do I look so far?" she asked with a slight grin.
"Fantastic," I said immediately. I looked over toward Bev and Sally and they were locked onto the scene, saying nothing.
I went quickly back to taking pictures as Ginny reached around behind her back and undid the clasp on the bra. Her back was toward me, but we were approaching the moment of truth and I was as hard as a rock in anticipation. She let the shoulder straps of the bra fall from her shoulders, then draped the undergarment over the end of the bed and stood once more.
Wearing only a pair of pink bikini panties, she was surprisingly calm as she looked over her should at me. Then, in one easy, fluid movement, she removed her panties and turned toward me.
And there they were, in all their glory. Two of the most magnificent breasts I had ever seen in my admittedly limited experience. They were flawless and firm, their aureoles and nipples pink and prominent on her otherwise ivory white skin. Like most redheads, she was fair-skinned and freckled, but it added to her beauty. The hair on her mound was red and sparse, but looked very natural. Nature and genetics had blessed her with a body that few women would ever experience, and I was going to have it all recorded for posterity.
"Turn around slowly, Ginny," I requested. "I want to get some pictures of you at all angles."
She did as I requested, moving gracefully and turning in a slow circle, stopping to allow me to capture each pose. Her hands had been on her hips at first, then she moved one to her throat, and then the other cupping a breast. It was an incredibly sexy pose that only reinforced my erection.
"Okay, Ginny," Sally said. "You look fabulous. Let's put these on the computer and see how they turn out."
Ginny slipped on a borrowed housecoat and as she passed me, she reached out and patted my now obvious erection. I almost jumped back in surprise but held myself still as the girls moved out of the bedroom. Sally led us down the hallway to what I assumed was a home office. She plugged the camera into the computer and we waited as the pictures were downloaded. I had taken twenty-two shots and I was hoping at least a few of them were decent.
"Oh, God, Ginny. You look gorgeous," Sally exclaimed as the first pictures came up on the monitor.
They were in reverse order, so we were looking at her standing almost completely nude, turning at various angles and poses. Sally was right, though, Ginny did look incredible. If I had never seen her before, I would have guessed she was in her twenties. She was mature beyond her years as the pictures confirmed. I wondered if any guy before had seen her in this state of undress. Rick perhaps? I was going to want some copies of these pictures.
"You next, Bev," Ginny said as Sally closed the file and unhooked the camera.
"I don't know, Gin. I mean, I don't look anything like you. It'll make me look dumpy."
"No you won't," I said quickly. "Don't be so hard on yourself. The three of you are very good looking girls, the best in school for sure. You're all different, that's all."
I was right about that. Ginny was the busty redhead with the body of an older woman. Bev was slimmer, dark-haired, not quite as tall, but with a very nice body and medium-plus size breasts. All in all, she was easily an eight in my book. Sally was blonde, but not really a light blonde. Just the same, she was a good looking girl, also in the eight category. The shortest of the three, she was very curvy in all the right places. She also had a great, lively personality that made her even more attractive.
For a sixteen-year-old guy, I was in with three of the hottest girls in school and by invitation too. What more could I ask for? Now, if I could get one of them to be interested in me that would be the icing on the cake. Yeah, I know Ginny said I was her date tonight but that was just to get me to do what they wanted me to do. Did she really dump Rick? I wouldn't know that tonight but by Monday it would be all over the school if it was true. Maybe then I'd have a chance. Yeah, right.
"Well, Bev, are you going to do it?" Ginny asked with a grin.
"I guess so," she said, not very happily. We left the office and walked back to the bedroom, locking the door behind us once more. There had been no sign that any of the party-goers had come upstairs so it seemed we hadn't been missed.
If Ginny was the mature, full-bodied wet dream of every guy who saw her, Bev wasn't far behind. Not as mature, either emotionally or physically, she was a very attractive dark-haired young lady with a still-developing figure and a bright, almost carefree personality. She and Ginny had been friends since elementary school and they knew each other like sisters. If there was any jealousy between Bev and Ginny, Bev hid it well.
Sally, on the other hand, didn't have the exceptional good looks of the other two but was still very attractive in her own right. Not a classic face or body type, she was a lively personality and dressed and acted like a young woman in complete control of her life. She wasn't cowed by the obvious physical charms of her two friends but styled herself to fit in with them. It was a particular skill most girls of her age did not have.
As I looked at the three of them, I had already assigned Ginny (or Gin as her two friends often called her) a solid nine, Bev an honest eight and Sally an eight as well. Now, I admit I was the sole judge and jury of this rating system but in conversations with some of my guy friends there wasn't much argument over my ratings. Oh yeah, we did compare notes. Not that we ever admitted that to the girls but they must have known. It was the same the world over.
I knew I was different. I couldn't help it that I was a little late developing. The growth spurt in the past year had been a god-send for my self esteem. I was also growing out of my reluctance to be more socially active. I had a couple of fellow dweebs that I hung out with but, with my physical changes, I was beginning to get a bit more self confident, especially with Ginny's most recent comment. I never saw myself as a "hunk," but if she thought so, that was fine with me.
I was also a good student. Not straight A's, but certainly in the top ten percent. My parents regularly reinforced their approval of my efforts in school and, as an only child, I was given a lot of privileges that others might not have received. Despite my youth and (then) small stature, they treated me more like an adult than a child and that stuck with me as something special for a typical teenage boy growing up. I'm positive that was the key to my mother's selection of Italy for that very special vacation.
I didn't have a lot of male friends. Mostly just school mates who were in the nerd, dork, or dweeb category, just like me. I was never very sure of the difference between the three but I didn't dwell on it much either. I was what I was and, until this recent physiological change, I couldn't do a damn thing about it.
So those of us who were consigned to this category hung out together. Strength or protection in numbers, I suppose. We were picked on naturally. That's just the way it was then. Occasionally one of the bigger kids would go too far and put a beating or some other such cruel punishment on one of us. The school officials would get involved but the punishment seldom fitted the crime. Our only protection was to avoid the known bullies and stick to our own group.
Now, I had grown out of that group but I wasn't yet part of any new gang. It was only sheer good luck that Ginny stepped in and changed everything. And I do mean everything.